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    Indian Railways is striving to increase the loading volume & revenue and  working in this direction, Western Railway is also taking best possible efforts to optimize its freight business. In order to increase the freight transportation over Western Railway, various Business Developement Units (BDUs)  have been set up at Zonal & Divisional levels & new freight incentives have also been announced to improve ease of doing business by interacting with prospective customers and simplifying the procedure involved. 

    In this direction, improvement works of various goods shed in all divisions, are in progress. The scope of improvement includes approach road, platform surface, lighting, labour facilities, traders room, covershed repair, circulating area and track lifting. In continuation to this, after improvement of Dewas, Gandhidham & other goods sheds, WR  has now carried out infrastructural improvements at Godhra Goods shed of Vadodara Division.

    Cover sheds and benches have been provided at the goods shed which is a great boon to the labourers, who can now comfortably  work and rest as it is safe from truck movement. It’s worth mentioning that despite toughest challenges due to Covid19 pandemic & subsequent lockdown. WR has been No. 1 in Parcel Revenue as well as in loading, with contribution of  27% & 32% in  Indian Railways total respectively during this financial year. 

    As per the directives of the Railway Board, Western Rly  has also come up with five new incentive schemes to attract freight transporters to tie up with Railways for transportation of their goods and parcels, in addition to earlier freight incentives. With the help of these new incentives, Indian Railways will offer the traffic to freight customers at competitive unit rates, which are lower as compared to Road transportation and to add to this, freight will be delivered to the destination at speedier pace  with assured timings.

    Boosting the trust and confidence of customers is a necessary attribute for attracting additional traffic. Having and maintaining a positive image in the eyes of freight customers will lead to a corresponding impact on freight revenue. Thus steps are being taken towards reaching out to potential railway freight customers to understand & how better railways can serve their needs.
         
    According to a press release issued by Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer Sumit Thakur, at Godhra goods shed, there is a Goods Platform at line No-14 in Godhra yard, which is basically used for loading and unloading of food grains, cement etc. A Goods office and traders room had been constructed earlier. But there was no cover shed, nor any benches provided. 

    Due to non-availability of cover shed and benches, labourers  dealing with loading/unloading activities faced problems. They were exposed to the harsh sun during summer and rains during monsoon. Hence, as an improvement drive launched recently by Headquarter office, Churchgate, weather shed in front of Goods office and traders room has been provided.

    A cover shed in back side of Goods office and Traders room with an area of 144 sq m has also been provided. The flooring below cover shed has been improved by laying of Kota stone. 5  benches of granite base having seating capacity of 25-30 persons  have also been provided.

    Thakur further stated that, despite the lockdown since 22nd March, 2020, WR has done commendable work by loading 13,693 rakes of goods trains till 2nd Septmber, 2020. This loading has earned a revenue of more than Rs 3600 crore. The loading included various essential commodities such as POL – 1452, Fertilizers – 2532, Salt – 716, Foodgrain-130, Cement – 1138, Coal -495, Containers – 6324  & General Goods – 61 rakes, amounting to 28.54 Million Tonnes to different states of the country, including North East region.

    In addition to this Millennium Parcel Van and Milk Tank Wagons containing various essential commodities such as medicine, medical kits, frozen food, milk powder and liquid milk were loaded to Northern & North East region. Total 26,990 Freight trains were interchanged with other Railways including 13,486  trains handed over and 13,504  trains taken over at different interchange points of Western Railway. During the period, important inward rakes such as 1780 rakes of Jumbo, 853 rakes of BOXN and 740 rakes of BTPN were unloaded at various stations over Western Rly. 
     
    In addition to above goods traffic, since 23rd March to 2nd Sept, 2020, commodities weighing approx. 1.15 lakh tonnes have been transported by Western Rly through its 514 parcel special trains, which mainly included agricultural produce, medicines, fish, milk etc. The revenue generated through this transportation, has been approx. Rs 37.68 crore. During this period, 83 milk special trains were run by Western Rly, with a load of almost 63 thousand tonnes and 100% utilization of the wagons. Similarly, 399 Covid-19 special parcel trains with a load of about 38 thousand tonnes were also run to transport various essential commodities.

    In addition to this, 32 indented rakes carrying approx. 14 thousand tonnes were also run with almost 100% utilization. WR has scheduled to run various timetabled Parcel special trains during lockdown period to different parts of the country.

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